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Littleton boosts pupillage award by 23% as plethora of chambers up pay

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London sets fall over themselves to throw extra cash at wannabe barristers

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Highly-regarded employment and commercial specialist Littleton Chambers has boosted its pupillage award to £67,500.

Up from £55,000, the big money move — which sees the Temple-based set become one of the top pupillage payers in the country — equates to an increase of £12,500 or 23%. According to Legal Cheek’s 2016 Chambers Most List, Littleton rookies will now be walking away with the same levels of cash as their counterparts at 2 Temple Gardens, and only pupil barristers at commercial duo Atkin Chambers and 4 Pump Court pocket more.

While 2 Temple Gardens and Atkin Chambers’ pupillage awards remain unchanged, 4 Pump Court has also recently notched up its pay. Confirming an 8% increase, pupils will now take home £70,000, up from an already respectable £65,000.

Top pupillage payers

littleton

Elsewhere, a host of other chambers have followed suit, upping pupillage pay packets.

The likes of (and take a deep breath) Erskine, 20 Essex Street, 4 New Square, 4 Stone Buildings, Brick Court, 3 Verulam Buildings and Crown Office Chambers have all boosted their pupillage awards from £60,000 to £65,000 — an increase of 8%.

Meanwhile, civil specialists 12 King’s Bench Walk confirmed an 11% increase to £50,000 and Enterprise Chambers revealed it had increased its pupillage award to £55,000 (up from £45,000) — an increase of 22%.

For those unfamiliar with the remuneration structure during pupillage, it’s not uncommon for pupils to receive the first six months of their award tax free. With pupils likely to undertake their own work during their second six, baby barristers are likely to pull in levels of cash much higher than the basic figures quoted above.

Earlier this week — sparking a furious debate within the comments section — Legal Cheek revealed that nearly 60% of newbie barristers completed their undergraduate degree at either Oxford or Cambridge.

But fear not pupillage hunters. In more positive news, the stats also showed there were 15 chambers that had more non-Oxbridge junior barristers than they did Oxbridge rookies.

May the odds be ever in your favour!

31 Comments

Anonymous

How does LC select which Chambers appear within its ‘Most List’?

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Anonymous

By the looks of it they’ve taken the top 50 overall ranked chambers on Chambers & Partners.

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Anonymous

One would assume they google search ‘barristers chambers’, and select the top sets that appear. A rigorous process, as always.

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Bumblebee

Littleton’s own website still says their pupillage award is only £55,000.

Is this a genuine inside scoop by LC? Or have you unfairly added an estimate of second six earnings to the figure?

Please clarify.

http://www.littletonchambers.com/pupillage/pupillage-funding-560/

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Felicity Schneider, Administration Director, Littleton Chambers

I can confirm that the pupillage grant at Littleton will increase to £67,500 with effect from 1 October 2018. It is an oversight that the website has not yet been updated but I will attend to that immediately.

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Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Anonymous

But Chambers and Partners rank chambers within practice areas. The only overall rankings I can see are of the number of practice areas a set is ranked in (with 39 Essex Chambers and Blackstone on top).

That approach would exclude sets focussing on a narrower area of practice (such as tax specialist chambers conducting what I suspect would be far more lucrative work than many of the sets on the list).

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Ahnold

I applied for a pupillage at 4 Pump Court chambers cos’ I love havings da pump.

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Anonymous

If I started a barristers’ set I’d call it “Mad Dog Chambers”.

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Anonymous

No you wouldn’t :-/

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Anonymous

You wanna ruck, brah? I will sh*t all over you.

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Anonymous

I’m not into that sort of thing, pervert.

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Anonymous

It doesn’t matter what you want.

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Toby

Noyce.

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The Lyle

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Not Amused

No properly advised young person should ever accept a pupillage for £12,000.

That young person is, without question, better off taking a job outside the profession – either as a solicitor or in a non legal role. There are far too many individuals at the Bar who do not make a living wage. Far too many egoists and narcissists who are more concerned with living a fantasy than basic business.

The sets that pay the absolute minimum should be avoided like the plague. In reality, in London, if the award is less than 35k then you probably should look elsewhere.

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Anonymous

Not Amused, how much does your set offer in the way of pupillage awards?

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Boh Dear

Ignore this. This is bollocks.

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Anonymous

Not Amused, you are an idiot and very clearly not in practice. Any student reading your load of bull would be well advised to take it with a giant pinch of salt. You wish that someone had offered you 12k pupillage award.

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Anonymous

Really, NA? Like top family set QEB? They award 30k and once a tenant, you would earn a very decent whack as they do high net worth, privately funded stuff for the most part. What utterly rubbish and deluded advice, probably only based on the commercial bar (which I doubt you are a part of because you display an astonishing level of ignorance in your comments, especially using offensive and dated terms like ‘poor born’). Not a Barrister more like.

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Chancery tenant

Agreed. 25 Bedford Row, one of the best (if not *the* bess) pays less than that by a long way. Lots of very good sets don’t pay more than £30k for a variety of reasons. Similarly, £12,000 is not too bad in Manchester or Leeds. Whilst trading on chambers’ image is important, the Bar is what you make of it and sucessful Barristers will make a good living.

I could name many many sets (including Commercial and Chancery ones) that do not pay £35,000 who are highly ranked in Legal 500. Equally there are some sets whose award is high but not commensurate with their reputation. 4 Pump Court is not better than Brick Court or Fountain Court, despite the extra £7,000 or so pupillage award. 2TG, whilst a very good set, is certiainly not i the same league as the “Magic Circle” and would never offer the same career development opportunities as, say, Essex Court etc in the Commercial arena.

It is fair to say that there are some exceptions. With a commercial set, I would be sceptical if the award was as low as £12,000 (cough cough 4KBW). That appears to be the lowest, alongside 12 and 13 Old Square. It either means they cannot afford more than that, or have no intention of offering tenancy. Some sets do appear to take pupils just to keep up an image of being a “proper chambers”.

Rather than look at pupillage awards, it is better to look at the reputation generally and how nice the Chambers is to work in. Littleton, (even when paying £55,000) has an extremely good Commercial/Finance solicitor client base. I would have chosen to go there over another set with less impressive work who paid £65,000.

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Anonymous

How is being a solicitor outside the legal profession?

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The Lyle

I agree about the fantasy and the living wage N.A. But it issolicitors ty, besides of which is it not the case that many will suffer the £12,000 min, just to get their foot in the door?
It’s their choice. Some may prosper thereafter, some may commit suicide.

And as a Solicitor Higher Court Advocate, what’s this about solicitors being outside the profession?

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Pantman

Of course they will suffer the low award to get their foot in the door – part of this is that that award may be for the first six, and in the second six they may have some earnings.

The problem with all of these ‘awards’ is that there is no standard way of stating them. Some will be a flat award, and you get to keep any earnings, some will be an award with claw-back on any earnings, some will be an award with guaranteed earnings… probably other combinations too. So it is pretty difficult to build a league table, but here’s a good start:

http://www.indx.co.uk/pupilbase/?mode=stats&rtype=awards

Note that in the top 50 only tree appear to be below £50k.

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The Lyle

Excuse the bollochs up. I type. I post and what I post is not what I type.

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The Lyle

There is the curious jurisdiction of Eiré, southern Ireland, where solicitor and barristers have equal rights of audience, but in practice , they operate similarly to England.

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Fact check

There’s no such country as southern Ireland. Or, when you are speaking in English (as you are), Eire.

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Anonymous

As a barrister outside England and Wales, I often wonder why chambers pay these high pupillage awards when in reality we are sole practitioners and pupils offer little of value.

Some say it is prestige but I think the real reason is to justify restricting the number of pupillages available, keeping out competition and thereby maintaining fees.

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Not Amused

Your argument doesn’t work on its own merits – if chambers wanted to restrict pupillages they would just restrict pupillages. There’s no external force trying to force chambers to take pupils – so there’s no one to ‘justify’ reducing pupils to. So what you’ve done is set up an obviously flawed conspiracy theory.

The reason most sets pay well is to attract the best talent and thereby preserve the quality of the brand. If any of the best sets suddenly undercut the market then they won’t get any good pupils that year – all the good pupils would pick the other sets who paid well. After 5 or 10 years the solicitors would notice a drop in quality and the chambers would face difficulty.

Our pupil offers are usually made to young people with multiple offers. These are the best candidates and we want to attract and retain the best.

Lowering the money paid would benefit no one and would only go to further decrease social mobility. At least the successful sets offer a route in to being a barrister for poor born young people. The sets who pay £12,000 a year don’t.

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Anonymous

Stop being so crass and offensive with your ‘poor-born’ comments. Also, as if you are in chambers

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